All Things Considered for Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ari Shapiro talks to Karen Pollitz, senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, about Affordable Care Act talk at the Thanksgiving table. How will parents make their case? And will more people sign up over the long weekend?

Breaking Up With HealthCare.gov Is Hard To Do

Lara Imler was one of the first people in Alaska to sign up for health insurance on HealthCare.gov. Turns out, the website miscalculated her subsidy. She wants to start over and get a new plan. But a stubborn software kink is standing in her way.
China has declared a sprawling air defense identification zone that covers disputed islands controlled by Japan. It also sent its lone aircraft carrier for trials in the South China Sea. The moves are being closely watched in the Philippines, a key U.S. ally that has seen its own territorial dispute with China.
Scientists have identified special cells in the brain's hippocampus that mimic a trick of some digital cameras. These cells automatically 'tag' the memory of each event in our lives with information about where that event took place — the better to recall, perhaps, where we left our lost keys.
Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times. But 150 years ago, with the Civil War raging, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November a national holiday — thanks in part to the persistence of Sarah Josepha Hale.
In a special Thanksgiving broadcast, Mayer chats with NPR's Ari Shapiro about fame, family, Montana and George Clooney, and performs songs from his new album, Paradise Valley.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has long been an enigma to U.S. policymakers. He's been known to praise and bury the U.S., his primary benefactor, in the same sentence. But his latest burst of intransigence over the security agreement with the U.S., and his defiance of the Loya Jirga that he called for, has both Afghans and Westerners in Kabul wondering if there is any method to the madness.
Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep as many as 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014. But the remaining U.S. troops will almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.

Is Turkey Kosher?

This year, in honor of "Thanksgivukkah," the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, Ari Shapiro talks with Rabbi Joshua Heller of Congregation B'nai Torah in Atlanta about the esoteric question of whether turkey is in fact kosher. Because turkeys were not around in biblical times, it's not as clear as some might think.
A look at the 50 or so movies — Oscar bait and just plain entertainment — that Hollywood will be offering between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

Thanksgiving Tale: 'A Fountain Of Snake'

In an annual tradition, writer Bailey White spins a fictional tale of love and life. This year's entry is about a woman dying of cancer who is attended to by a series of old boyfriends, each of whom contributes some sort of minor service. The story ends with a symbolic event at an old hollow tree in the woods, where a coiled snake meets a violent end.

How A South Pacific Island Celebrates Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday. And on tiny Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, it's a somewhat imported holiday.
Colorado was hit by devastating flooding a couple of months ago, and many people remain displaced from their homes. On this Thanksgiving Day, the Roadkill Sports Grill in Greeley, Colo., is hosting a feast for anyone who wants to come, free of charge. Ari Shapiro talks with Rob Haimson, owner of the restaurant, about the dinner, and what's happening at the restaurant.

The Electric Bassist With An In-House Composer

One evening, a 20-year-old Steve Swallow went home, dropped out of Yale and moved to New York City to play jazz. Eventually, he'd play with many modern masters, discover the bass guitar and meet his partner in music and life Carla Bley — who was once married to his mentor.
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